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Senior Chinese travel agents take in Cairns and Reef

22 March 2018

Senior Chinese travel agents on a jet boating tour in Cairns

A group of leading Chinese travel agents will visit Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef this week to expand their tourism knowledge of the region.

More than 30 travel agency product managers and senior executives will experience a Dreamtime Walks tour at Mossman Gorge, sample local produce, visit the Daintree Rainforest, encounter the unique local wildlife, experience an AFL match at Cazaly’s Stadium, and sail and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef.

Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) Chief Executive Officer Leanne Coddington said the trip would give the group an opportunity to experience some of Tropical North Queensland’s most memorable tourism offerings.

“China is Queensland’s largest and most valuable international market with more than half a million Chinese visiting the state for the first time ever, spending a record $1.14 billion in 2017,” Ms Coddington said.

“Key to continuing this momentum is educating our Chinese travel trade partners on the variety of new and existing visitor experiences available in Queensland, catering to the vast travel preferences of Chinese travellers.

“Our Queensland Asia Tourism Strategy 2016-2025 outlines trade engagement as one of seven key strategic areas of opportunity for growing Queensland’s share of the Asian markets, including the burgeoning China market.

“Chinese travel agencies play a crucial role in influencing travel decisions, and what better way to engage and help them better promote our state than by providing an opportunity to experience first-hand what we consider the best address on earth.”

Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chief Executive Officer Pip Close said Tropical North Queensland currently had a healthy share of the Chinese market, attracting 49.5 per cent of Queensland’s Chinese holiday visitors and 27.2 per cent of Australia’s.

“Having key agents experience Tropical North Queensland’s diverse tourism offerings will encourage them to develop longer itineraries which will grow this key market and disperse visitors further throughout the region,” she said.

Cairns Airport Chief Executive Officer, Norris Carter, said that thanks to China Southern Airlines, Guangzhou and Cairns were now only seven hours apart, rather than 14.

“It’s been said that aviation is the real world wide web. It connects us and supports our friendships, family ties, tourism and trade,” Mr Carter said.

“China Southern’s flights bring many more Chinese visitors directly from Guangzhou to Cairns without them having to fly past us and back via other parts of Australia to get here.”

“They also give more direct access to visitors travelling from other parts of Asia, Europe and North America via the Canton route.”

The visit forms part of the ‘Advance Queensland: Connecting with Asia Fund – Cairns – Australia’s Tropical Holiday Resort Destination project’ supported by Tourism Tropical North Queensland, Cairns Airport, Tourism and Events Queensland and Tourism Australia.